Katharine Graham

image for Katharine Graham
Exhibition Label
In 1963, when Katharine Graham succeeded her late husband as president of her family’s media company and its flagship newspaper, the Washington Post, she faced innumerable challenges. Women executives were still a rarity in corporate America, and Graham harbored grave doubts about her ability to captain the Washington Post Company. She would prove more than equal to the task; under her guidance the Post was transformed from a local news source into one of the world’s most respected newspapers. Working closely with executive editor Ben Bradlee (whom she brought on board in 1965), Graham took a bold stand for press freedom in 1971 by publishing the Pentagon Papers, a classified account of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The following year, the Post launched the investigative reporting that ultimately exposed the Nixon administration’s culpability in the Watergate scandal and earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize (1973). Graham later received a Pulitzer for her memoir, Personal History (1998).
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh
Restrictions & Rights
© Estate of Yousuf Karsh
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Yousuf Karsh, 23 Dec 1908 - 13 Jul 2002
Katharine Meyer Graham, 6 Jun 1917 - 17 Jul 2001
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Screen
Katharine Meyer Graham: Female
Katharine Meyer Graham: Communications\Publisher\Newspaper
Katharine Meyer Graham: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Executive\Media
Katharine Meyer Graham: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Katharine Meyer Graham: Literature\Writer\Autobiographer
Chromogenic print
Image: 26.1 x 27.4 cm (10 1/4 x 10 13/16")
Sheet: 26.5 x 27.4 cm (10 7/16 x 10 13/16")
Mount: 50.7 x 40.6 cm (19 15/16 x 16")
National Portrait Gallery